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Published by Dhanoop Bhaskar

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Published by: Dhanoop Bhaskar on Mar 18, 2011
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Security In Computing
Unit 1
1.0 INTRODUCTION TO SECURITYSecurity
refers to any measures taken to protect something. Examples of security in the real world include locks on doors, alarms in our cars, police officers.
Computer security
is a field of computer science concerned with the control of risksrelated to computer use. It describes the methods of protecting the integrity of datastored on a computer.In computer security the measures taken are focused on securingindividual computer hosts.
Network security
consists of the provisions made in an underlying computer network infrastructure, policies adopted by the network administrator to protect the network and the network-accessible resources from unauthorized access and the effectiveness(or lack) of these measures combined together. It starts from authenticating any user.Once authenticated, firewall enforces access policies such as what services areallowed to be accessed by the network users. Even though it prevents unauthorizedaccess, it prevents harmful contents such as computer worms being transmitted over the network. An intrusion prevention system (IPS) helps detect and prevent suchmalware.
1.1 Threats in Network Security
The following describe the general threats to the security of the distributed systems
 Disclosure of information
Organizations maintain valuable information on their computer systems. Thisinformation may be used by other parties in such a way as to damage the interest of the organization owning the information. Therefore information stored on or  processed by computer systems must be protected against disclosure both internal andexternal to the user organization.1
 
Security In Computing
Contamination of information
Valuable information may become worthless if unauthorized information is mixedwith it. The damage may be as great as the damage through information disclosure.
Unauthorized use of resources
Unauthorized use of resources may lead to destruction, modification, loss of integrityetc. of resources and thus the authorization of individual users will be limited.
 Misuse of resources
Authorized use of resources may give authorized individuals the opportunity to perform activities that are harmful to the organization. Misuse of resources,intentional or accidental, may be harmful to the organization through corruption,destruction, disclosure, loss or removal of resources. Such misuse may affect theliability of an organization for information entrusted to it or for transactions andinformation exchanged with other organizations.
Unauthorized information flow 
In a distributed system, information flow must be controlled not only between users of end-systems but also between end-systems. Depending on the prevailing security policy information flow restrictions may be applied to the basis of classification of data objects and end-systems, user clearances, etc.
 Repudiation of information flow 
Repudiation of information flow involves denial of transmission or receipt of messages. Since such messages may carry purchasing agreement, instructions for  payment etc., the scope for criminal repudiation of such messages is considerable.
 Denial of service
Because of the wide range of services performed with the aid of computer systems,denial of service may significantly affect the capability of a user organization to2
 
Security In Computing
 perform its functions and to fulfill its obligations. Detection and prevention of denialof service must be considered as part of any security policy.
1.2 SECURITY SERVICES
In order to protect against perceived threats, various security services need to be provided, the main security services are:
Authentication
Authentication is the process of proving the identity of a user of a system bymeans of a set of credentials. Credentials are the required proof needed by the systemto validate the identity of the user. The user can be the actual customer, a process, or even another system. A person is a validated through a credential. The identity is whothe person is. If a person has been validated through a credential, such as attaching aname to a face, the name becomes a principal.An authentication service is concerned with assuring that the communicationis authentic. In the case of a single message, such as warning or alarm signal, thefunction of the authentication service is to assure the recipient that the message isfrom the source that it claims to be from. In the case of an ongoing interaction, suchas the connection of a terminal to a host, two aspects are involved. First, at the time of connection initiation, the service assures that the two entities are authentic, that is, thateach is the entity that it claims to be. Second, the service must assure that theconnection is not interfered with in such a way that a third party can masquerade asone of the two legitimate parties for the purpose of unauthorized transmission or reception.
Authorization
The process by which a user is given access to a system resource is known asauthorization. The authorization process is the check by the organization’s system tosee whether the user should be granted access to the user’s record. The user haslogged in to the system, but he still may not have the permission necessary from thesystem to access the records.When deploying a system, access to system resources should also bemapped out. Security documents that detail the rights of individuals to specific3

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